Ambassadors

Ambassadors

We are so grateful to our amazing Ambassadors who have stepped up to suppor the Big Red Roll + Stroll and wider muscular dystrophy community. Get to know them a little better here and look forward to meeting them all in person on event day!

Shannan Ponton

Australia's most successful trainer for The Biggest Loser Australia

"I’m proud to be an ambassador for the Big Red Roll + Stroll and support the work of Muscular Dystrophy NSW and all they do to support people living with neuromuscular conditions.

Muscular Dystrophy is a terrible degenerative disease which can severely impact or prevent people from doing everyday things that most of us take for granted. It’s especially devastating for kids that live with it. Muscular Dystrophy NSW do an incredible job in supporting people of all ages and in particular provide a great community for kids with Muscular Dystrophy by providing them with a range of activities that they can do!"

Shannan has previously been an Ambassador for Muscular Dystrophy NSW's most important fundraising challenge, Sugar Free September in 2015 and again in 2020. We so appreciate Shannan's long standing support and commitment to the muscular dystrophy community. 

Botille "Bo" Vette-Welsh

Rugby League footballer for the Sydney Roosters and Wests Tigers

Bo is passionate about giving back to others and being a good role model for youngsters. She says,

"I try to use my voice and my platform to give back to the community, so am honoured to be raising awareness for the 7,500 aussies here in NSW living with the devastating impacts of muscular dystrophy."

 She is excited to be an Ambassador for the Big Red Roll + Stroll and to meet and share some laughs with members of the muscular dystrophy community on the day, after her morning game.

 Thank you Bo for your support and lending your voice to our community!

James Dunstan

"My name is James Dunstan and I am a 57 y/o male living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA Type 2/3), I was born in Australia and grew up in Yass NSW and moved to Sydney when I was 20 years old. 

I am very passionate about my work and has made an established career as a Project Manager with my own business working with Transport NSW on their road and rail projects providing project management services. 

Outside of work, and after having recently received my first power chair, my passion is to get out into the community and do the thing that I haven’t done for many years. 

I have a great NDIS support package which provides me with daily personal care, in- house domestic services and assistance with community access which all helps to take the pressure off my two daughters Emma (22) and Rachael (19) who both currently live with me along with Meg our little terrier dog, plus I do also have support from my ex-wife if required. 

I am looking forward to the Big Red Roll + stroll to meet other people with Neuromuscular conditions and to learn about their experiences in life and to also share my own. 

My motto in life is “Life’s too short to have negative thoughts, live everyday as it is.'"

Julie Duong

"My name is Julie and I have been involved with MDNSW for about 10 years now. It all started when I was in the Duke of Edinburgh pilot program where I really got more involved in meeting other people with disability and doing something really quite out of my comfort zone. Since then MDNSW has always found ways to connect the MD community with each other through services and events that actually matter to people like me.

As someone with SMA, it’s so important to find an organisation that actually values and supports its members. I have made so many wonderful friends that I would not usually meet in my everyday life through this organisation. In communities like these there’s just this unspoken connection and shared understanding that has been vital in shaping who I am today.

I’m always looking forward to what they have planned because it’s always such a splash of fun. This time I’m especially excited for the Big Red Roll + Stroll because my dog can join in too so come on down and catch us there!

When I’m not working in one of my many jobs, you’ll find me stuffing my face where the food is good or trying to find accessible strolls!"

O'Donovan Family

10 year old Finn, his parents Ross and Rebecca, and sisters Ella and Nia are excited to take on the 3km Big Red Roll + Stroll as a family.

It’s been 5 Years since Finn’s diagnosis with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, and although it has been a battle, the family has really stepped up to the plate with strength and determination making sure no stone is left unturned in their mission to give Finn the best quality of life available.

The O’Donovan family is clearly beloved and respected by their community, who have rallied together to create the Fight For Finn Foundation Facebook page where the family shares updates on Finn’s journey and community supporters raise funds, awareness and positivity to help Finn and his family live their best life.

Finn is known for his contagious smile, sparkling eyes and adventurous spirit. He also knows a thing or two about 'rolling' - although he continues to walk unaided, Finn uses his wheelchair at school and mobility scooter for day trips and holidays. You can catch him zooming around his neighbourhood on his electric push bike and he even loves racing motorbikes! What wheels will Finn choose for the Roll + Stroll?

Scott Green

"My name is Scott Green, I’m 21 and I completed the Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management a few years ago at TAFE. I’ve travelled to many places including America, New Zealand and Melbourne. I hope to one day to have a job in a Travel Agency specialising in disability travel. 

My interests are cooking, gardening, traveling and collecting anything to do with tea drinking. I also enjoy a great 70’s or 80’s song as anyone who has been to camp would know. I am looking forward to moving into my own place for the first time in a few months. The independence will be really exciting.

I've been involved in a lot of Muscular Dystrophy NSW's programs, including Summer Camp 5 times, Adventure Camp twice, participated in the CARS trial, completed both my Bronze and Silver Duke of Ed awards and I'm about to head to my third Young Adults Weekend.

I've met most of my closest friends through these programs and I'm looking forward to catching up with all the people I know at the Big Red Roll + Stroll. I really enjoy being out and about in my community so I can raise awareness for people living with neuromuscular conditions and to help people with all disabilities to be included as much as possible."

Check out a short film made about Scott a few years ago here.

Carolyn Campbell-McLean

I’ve been a Sydney-sider my whole life and love connecting with the community and bringing awareness to MD, ensuring the rights of people with disabilities are upheld. I’m a social worker by training and have worked in the disability field for about 25 years. I also have lifelong personal experience of being a wheelchair user, as I have SMA Type 2. 

My partner and I love seeing friends, going out and enjoying nature, but during the Covid-19 pandemic we’ve had to stop all of that, so I’m really looking forward to the Big Red Roll + Stroll so that I can reconnect with so many people I care about. I love my home, but I’ve seen a lot of it in the last 12 months so I’m excited for this great opportunity to be out and about and have some fun! 

I love that Muscular Dystrophy NSW has a focus on listening to members and trying new things – the first Big Red Roll + Stroll is a great example of this.” 

A big thank you to all of our wonderful Ambassadors for your support and advocacy for the muscular dystrophy community!